Summer In Your Freezer

Jun 26, 11 Summer In Your Freezer

Summer is the time o’ plenty, at least when it comes to fresh produce. This is the time when any and all delicious fruit and veggies are available at lower prices and in full splendor because they happen to be in season. But, as we know all too well, all good things must come to an end. Come fall and winter these same items will have a much higher cost, not just to yourself but to the environment, because they must be imported from other parts of the world (if they’re even available). With a neat housewife-y trick mami would be proud of, you can preserve your summer bounty for the rest of the year. All you need to do is stock up and freeze your goodies, like so:

  • Fruit should be washed, peeled and seeded. In order to keep it from ripening, discoloring or browning mix ½ tsp. ascorbic acid (a.k.a vitamin C, found at grocery stores) with 3 Tbsp. water for every quart of prepared fruit, then toss the fruit with the mixture. This works best with apples, peaches, apricots and nectarines. Lay the fruit flat on a cookie sheet and freeze overnight. The next morning, pack into freezer bags allowing as little air as possible in them. Fruit conserved this way is best eaten while still partially frozen, to cook with, or to prepare a mean licuado.
  • Herbs are best mixed into a paste by blending with a bit of water. Pour the paste into an ice tray and freeze overnight, then pop the cubes into a freezer bag. It’s chimichurri on ice!
  • Veggies should be cut, pared and blanched. This prevents discoloration and toughening in the freezer. Certain vegetables like cabbages and lettuce are best consumed fresh, so don’t even bother to freeze them. Also, citrus fruits tend to get mushy so skip the freezer for these as well.

Granted, all of this entails quite a bit of work, but it’ll be worth it when you’re savoring lovely sweet corn and yummy summer squash in November.

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